Issue Number 405 August 15, 2003
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
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On Thursday, August 14, 2003, the Eastern US power grid experienced an outage that affected a number of states and metropolitan areas in the northeastern and Midwestern United States. While power has been restored in some areas, many more remain without electricity.
This outage has significant implications for vaccine storage. The following should provide some guidance regarding vaccine storage issues.
Do not open freezers and refrigerators until power is restored.
Most refrigerated vaccines are relatively stable at room temperature for limited periods of time. The vaccines of most concern are MMR and Varivax, which are sensitive to elevated temperatures. MMR may retain potency at room temperature, depending on the duration of exposure. With regard to Varivax, CDC will be consulting with Merck Vaccines to determine the best course of action.
Monitor temperatures; don't discard; don't administer affected vaccines until you have discussed with public health authorities.
If the power outage is on-going:
When power has been restored:
For additional information and guidance please contact your state or local health department.
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Editor-in-ChiefKelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
Managing EditorJohn D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
Associate EditorSharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
Writer/Publication CoordinatorTaryn Chapman, MS
Courtnay Londo, MA
Style and Copy EditorMarian Deegan, JD
Web Edition ManagersArkady Shakhnovich
Contributing WriterLaurel H. Wood, MPA
Technical ReviewerKayla Ohlde